Marine Protected Areas: Tools for Sustaining Ocean Ecosystem
National Research Council, NAS
The world’s oceans, and the bounty it supports, seems limitless. But there is clear evidence that the impacts of overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution disrupt marine ecosystems and threaten the long-term productivity of the seas. Declining yields in many fisheries and the decay of coral reefs and other treasured marine habitats has heightened interest in establishing a comprehensive system of marine protected areas (MPAs—areas designated for special protection to enhance the management of marine resources. There is an urgent need to evaluate how MPA’s can be used in the United States and internationally as tools to support specific conservation needs of marine and coastal waters. This report from the National Research Council arm of the National Academy of Sciences examines MPA’s in depth. It discusses how they compare to conventional management of marine resources and what they have to contribute. The NRC shows that implementationof MPAs should be incremental and adaptive, through the design of areas not only to conserve resources, but also to help us learn how to manage marine species more effectively.
America's Living Oceans - The PEW Commission Final Report on Ocean Health
On June 4 of 2003 the Pew Oceans Commission released a report on the state of America's living oceans and the commercial fisheries they support. It is the first comprehensive review of U.S. ocean policy in more than 30 years. The report has many disturbing things to say about the state of high seas fisheries, our management of them, and how coastal real estate development and various industries are impacting a wide range of critical habitat and nursery grounds for fish, forage, and benthic levels. The direct link to the PEW Oceans Commission site also contains links to many other scientific reports on the health of our oceans, coastlines, and fisheries, and the risks they face today.